Midwestern State Football to make eighth NCAA playoff appearance Saturday against Sioux Falls

Midwestern state vs Eastern New Mexico. / Source: KAUZ
Midwestern state vs Eastern New Mexico. / Source: KAUZ

Outright Lone Star Conference champion Midwestern State earned its eighth NCAA Division II playoff appearance Sunday afternoon as the No. 3 seed in Super Region Four as released via streaming video on NCAA.com.

The Mustangs play host to Sioux Falls (S.D.) Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Midwestern is making their third straight postseason appearance after recording its second unbeaten regular season at 9-0.

Sioux Falls (9-2) finished third in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, but is coming off of a narrow 27-23 loss to No. 1 Minnesota State.

Central Washington claimed the No. 1 seed and received a bye into the second round. The Wildcats will face the winner of the Texas A&M-Commerce at Winona State matchup set for Saturday in Winona, Minn.

The MSU and Sioux Falls winner faces the victor of the Minnesota State/Colorado State-Pueblo contest set for Saturday in Mankato, Minn.

Midwestern State previously advanced to the playoffs in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016.
2017 NCAA Division II Playoffs
Super Region Four
Saturday, November 18

Texas A&M-Commerce at Winona State, TBA
Colorado State-Pueblo at Minnesota State, TBA
Sioux Falls at Midwestern State, 1p.m.
Saturday, November 25
Texas A&M-Commerce/Winona State winner at Central Washington, TBA
Colorado State-Pueblo/Minnesota State winner vs. Sioux Falls/Midwestern State winner, TBA
Saturday, December 2
Super Region Four Championship, TBA
Saturday, December 9
National semifinals**, TBA
Saturday, December 16
National Championship Game in Kansas City, 3 p.m.
** Final four teams to be seeded following regional championship game.

MSU Football takes outright Lone Star Conference title, clinches second unbeaten regular season

The Midwestern State Mustangs did things in twos Saturday night against Eastern New Mexico in Greyhound Stadium.

Adrian Seales, Brandon Sampson, Xavier Land and Jerryl Yarbrough all scored a pair of touchdowns as the No. 4 Mustangs won 56-43 to claim their second outright Lone Star Conference title.

The Mustangs, who are also No. 3 in Super Region Four, improve to 9-0 for the season and 8-0 in the LSC and avenge a 30-28 loss to ENMU in last year's regular
season fnale. The 20th-ranked Greyhounds fall to 8-2 overall and 6-2 in conference play.

MSU will learn its NCAA Division II first-round playoff opponent during the selection show at 4 p.m. Sunday on NCAA.com. This will be the team's third straight playoff appearance.

"This means a great deal to these kids," MSU head coach Bill Maskill said. "It means they're going to get a ring -- they missed out on one last year when Eastern beat them. I'd like to think it got us a home playoff game.

"The bottom line is we're 9-0 and conference champs. All our recruits know that; and the rest of the conference knows that. It's not easy to do. To go 9-0 is pretty special."

The Mustangs other outright title was in 2011 (10-1) and they also had a share of the conference crown in 2009 and 2012. This snaps Texas A&M-Commerce's three-year run as the LSC champs.

MSU quarterback Layton Rabb tied a school record with six touchdown passes as he completed 28 of 46 passes for 383 yards and no interceptions.

ENMU's Kamal Cass became the Greyhounds' all-time leading rusher on the night as he finished with 276 yards and three touchdowns. However, he was held to about 100 yards in the second half.

The teams exchanged touchdowns in the first half and the game was even for much of the night as the Greyhounds had a 558-550 edge in total offense. The game was tied 28-28 at intermission.

The Mustangs had a 1-yard run from Seales; touchdown passes to Sampson of 25 and 16 yards; and a 25-yard TD pass to Yarbrough in the first half.

Yarbrough opened the second-half scoring for the Mustangs on a 10-yard TD catch after a 32-yard Tyrique Edwards punt return.

That put MSU up for good, but the battle wasn't over.

ENMU got a 37-yard field goal from Iowa Park's Bailey Hale early in the final period to make it a 35-31 game.

But it took the Mustangs less than a minute to add to their lead as Land and Rabb hooked up for a 13-yard TD.

Cass had the 'Hounds back in the end zone at the 10-minutes mark, but the try for two failed.

Land and Rabb then hooked up from 17 yards with 7:46 left and the Mustangs leading 49-37.

MSU's defense stopped the home team -- which was 8-0 in its new stadium -- inside the red zone with 2:44 left.

Seales then added insult to injury when he raced 81 yards untouched around the right side for MSU's final score of the night. He finished with 117 yards on the ground, his second 100-yard night of the season.

"In the second half we made some adjustments on defense and continued to have success throwing the ball," Maskill said. "Our goal going in at halftime was to win the third quarter and then win the fourth quarter. We did both of those. It was a big win and now we're looking forward to finding out who we play next."

Rabb completed passes to seven different receivers with Tyler Milliken catching seven for 121 and Land grabbing nine for 83 yards. This was the fourth straight week the Mustangs had a 100-yard receiver and the fifth time all season.

For the season Rabb throw passes for 2,600 yards, 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

The Mustangs have scored at least 35 points in every game this season and have scored more than 40 six times.

Cass has rushed for 666 yards in his four-year career against the Mustangs.

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